Keeping your money safe
First Option Bank is subject to Federal Government regulation by APRA (Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority) just as all banks are, regardless of size.
We hold a current Australian Financial Services Licence and Australian Credit Licence: First Option Bank Ltd AFSL / Australian Credit Licence 236 509.
First Option also has a Visa card transaction fraud monitoring service that operates 24x7, 365 days a year to identify and stop attempted card fraud.
Below you will find some useful information on how to protect yourself against scammers, and what to do if you think you have been targeted...
If you suspect your computer or mobile device has been compromised, contact us as soon as you can so we can lock your accounts and disable your one-time SMS passwords.
Call our Member Services team now for help
What do I need to know?
Hacking is when a scammer can (usually remotely) access your computer, mobile device or network to steal personal information about you. Hackers may work discretely so that you barely notice what they’re doing in the background; other than strange icons appearing on your desktop or random pop-up boxes. More aggressive hacking can take the form of a ‘takeover’; locking you out of your computer/device and your online accounts, or even ‘porting’ of your mobile phone number by a hacker so that they can impersonate you.
Remote access scams are more overt than hacking, they usually involve someone trying to convince you that you have a computer/internet problems which require new software or their services to fix for you. If you allow a scammer to access your computer/mobile device remotely they may then use this opportunity to access your personal information. Once obtained, they can then assume your identity to commit fraudulent activities such as using your credit card or opening a new bank account.
Identity theft is a type of fraud that involves using someone else's identity to steal money or gain other benefits.
Phishing scams are attempts by scammers to trick you into giving them your personal information such as bank account numbers, passwords and credit card details.
Malware is an application which tricks you into installing software that then allows scammers to access your files and track what you are doing.
Ransomware is used by scammers to remotely lock or encrypt your files, then the attacker demands payment from you to ‘unlock’ and restore your computer or files so you can access them.
Extortion and threats. Scammers sometimes use any means possible to steal your identity or your money – including threats to you, or your family. You should take this threat seriously if you suspect the scammer has been able to access information about you such as your address. If you are the target of this sort of abuse, call 000 immediately.
Things to watch out for
- You are suddenly unable to log into your computer or mobile device, or email, social media and other secure online accounts.
- You notice new icons appear on your computer/mobile desktop without you installing anything.
- Files on your computer have been moved or deleted unexpectedly.
- Pop-up boxes start randomly appearing. These may offer to help 'fix' your computer, or a simply have a button that says ‘close’.
- You notice that amounts of money go missing from your bank account without any explanation.
- Your mobile phone shows 'SOS only' where the cellular signal reception bars usually appear.
How do I protect myself?
How do I protect myself against hackers?
- Always keep up to date with anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your computer and other devices, and use a good software firewall.
- Only buy computers, mobile devices and anti-virus software from a reputable source.
- Use your installed security software to run regular virus checks, especially if you notice any of the warning signs about. If you have doubts following a ‘full scan’, contact your anti-virus software provider or a reputable computer specialist.
- Keep your networks and devices secure with passwords. Choose passwords and PINs that would be difficult for others to guess, and change them regularly.
- Avoid using publicly-shared computers or WiFi hotspots to access secure sites and services or provide personal information through email, website forms etc.
- Don’t store your sensitive personal information in emails, these are usually stored on cloud-based servers and can quickly become a treasure trove of valuable information about your identity if accessed.
- Do not open attachments or click links in emails or social media messages you receive from strangers – just delete them.
- Be wary of free downloads and website access, such as for downloading music, games, movies and adult sites. These may discretely install harmful programs on your computer or mobile device to enable a hacker to gain access.
- Don’t use software which auto-completes online forms for you.
- Be alert to text messages from your mobile service provider advising that your number is going to be ported to another telco. Call them immediately and let them know you didn’t authorise the transfer.
- If you suspect you have been the target of scammers or hackers, immediately change your passwords on social media and alert your contacts. If scammers can’t gain access your bank accounts, they may use your social media accounts to contact your friends and family to try to scam them into sending money.
How do I protect myself against scammers?
- Be very wary of all approaches you did not initiate, especially if you are asked to send money to someone.
- Before sending money to online, confirm the identity of the contact by calling the organisation directly using an independently sourced phone number. If you are feeling pressured to respond before taking preventative steps, be even more alert.
- Do not disclose personal information in a phone call, don’t share your computer screen, relay SMS or email access codes to someone.
- Never provide somebody else with your personal access details (bank name, username and password) for online banking.
- Only donate to legitimate registered official charities which you can verify through the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commissions website.
What do I do if it's happening to me?
Once you've lost money to a scam or given out your personal details to a scammer, you're unlikely to get money back. However there are steps you can take straight away to limit the damage and protect yourself from further loss.
Type of incident
Contact First Option as soon as you can to limit any losses and damage. If it is outside regular Australian business hours, please leave a message for us explaining your situation and follow the prompts to alert our fraud interceptor service.
Fraud and theft
Your local police - call 131 444. In Victoria, call your local police station
Financial and investment scams
Tax related scams
Our guarantee to our members
If an unauthorised transaction does occur on your account, we guarantee that you will not be liable for any unauthorised transaction carried out (provided you meet your obligations under our Conditions of Use, ePayments Code and you haven't contributed to the loss).